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How To Get A Gaming License: What A Beginning Entrepreneur Needs To Know

Updated 29.04.2020

To conduct business activities on a legal basis, every entrepreneur must have a certificate of registration of the company and an official permit. In the case of gambling, the rules for obtaining all the necessary documentation for casino licensing are especially strict.

Online gambling is much more than just a beautiful website and high-quality software. The work of any self-respecting casino, first of all, includes compliance with the established statutory provisions and legal requirements.

Today, in the world, there are more than eighty countries that offer licensing services for the gambling business. Experts of the Smart Money company have prepared a list of the most popular jurisdictions and collected comprehensive information on the nuances that you will need for the launch of your own gaming site. In this article, we will tell you:

  • what a gaming license is;
  • why gambling projects need permits;
  • how do you get a gaming license;
  • which countries offer the most favourable conditions for the gambling business;
  • what requirements applicants need to fulfil.

By using the services of Smart Money, you will get detailed advice on the most profitable and promising business strategies. Also, you will always be able to order legal support for gambling projects of any format (contact details can be found at the end of the article).

What is a Gaming License?

A license is one of the key requirements for a casino operator. Absolutely all modern software vendors, before they sell software, want to see permits and the referred documentation of owners of casino platforms.

The document allows you to conduct business on a legal basis and is indisputable evidence of the transparency of a gambling establishment. The vendor license is a relevant opportunity to legalise your gambling activity in accordance with international laws and provide users with a guarantee of honesty and transparency of financial transactions.

The licensing procedure is mandatory for all gaming sites: online casinos, poker rooms, bookmaker’s offices, lottery operators, bingo halls, and any other gambling clubs.

Accordingly, a gambling license is a “key employee” of the gambling platform, which is responsible for the confirmation of the legal status and full transparency of interaction with customers.

How do You Get a Gaming License in Offshore Zones?

Each of the jurisdictions has specific requirements for applicants. The most strict standards and high prices are in European countries. However, to make out documents on the territory of Latin America or in Asian countries is much easier.

Experts recommend businessmen to pay attention to the so-called offshore zones.

The reasons for the popularity of offshore licenses are:

  • a legal permit for gambling that meets international standards;
  • minimal taxation or no commission fees at all;
  • an ability to enter the international market and work in the European market;
  • optimal conditions for concluding partnership agreements major European corporations;
  • provision of the EU taxpayer identification number;
  • registration without the direct participation of an organiser of a project;
  • minimal lead time of the procedure;
  • the lack of necessity to file financial reports.

As a rule, the relatively low cost of the service and other factors of loyalty can be explained by the small area and population of offshore states. The received revenue is spent on raising the economy and replenishing the public treasury.

The List of Requirements for the Applicants

The basic set of conditions for a licensee is developed by a special commission. It prescribes norms of behaviour of all interested parties (including the staff of a gambling establishment, casino owners, their partners, and in some cases, software vendors).

To some extent, the requirements for applicants who want to obtain a gambling license are similar to the standards established for people engaged in the banking business:

  • mandatory working experience in the financial sector and in the position of a manager (the purpose of this requirement is to guarantee the stability of the business);
  • an absence of infractions of the law (criminal charges, especially those that are connected with the economy — the service will definitely not be provided if you have one);
  • evidence of the actual existence of the company that files an application (the registration of a legal entity, the protocol of the meeting of founding parties, and much more).

In some cases, the commission that considers the application may require confirmation of the fact that the company has a positive reputation and complete information on the financial structure of the project.

Also, the applicant has to lookup the established legal norms and strictly follow the prescribed norms of behaviour.

Basic Documentation for the Aacquisition of a Permit

Main documents for the acquisition of a gambling license

The package of documents for the registration of a gambling license includes:

  • an application filed on behalf of a legal entity;
  • documents that prove the identity of an applicant (from copies of the passport data to fingerprints);
  • detailed information on the company (its legal address, phone number, etc.);
  • information that proves the actual existence of a legal entity (certificate of the registration of business, company charter, a protocol of the meeting of founding parties);
  • proof of the presence of an office (for example, a utility bill);
  • bank statements on the status of the applicant's account (it is necessary to have the sum of insurance and the amount of money that needs to be paid for the service);
  • a detailed business plan and information on the expected turnover of the company.

Each of the jurisdictions can require also some additional documentation. For example, consideration of the application sometimes requires the confirmation of the correct operation of the casino security service or copies of contracts with software vendors. Also, there can be such a condition as the acquisition of the status of a resident of the country that will grant a license or the need to open an account in a specified banking institution.

A Vendor License: the Best Jurisdictions for Online Casinos

The best jurisdictions for online casinos

Experts from Smart Money have prepared a list of the most popular countries that provide operators with permits that will allow them to conduct gambling activity:


Malta is an independent republic and a member of the British Commonwealth. It is one of the largest and most respected jurisdictions, which became the first EU member to legally regulate online gambling. At the moment, about five hundred virtual platforms that offer gambling services are officially registered in the country.

The cost of a Maltese license is about eight thousand five hundred euro. Also, applicants must pay for the application itself (about two thousand five hundred euro), and the corresponding taxes. The cost of the renewal of a permit is about one thousand five hundred euro.

Costa Rica

Under the belt of this country of Central America, there are more than two hundred gaming sites. The jurisdiction issues licenses but does not have strict rules, on the basis of which it is possible to control activities on the Internet.

An interesting fact is that the country does not issue any special permits — the work of casinos is based on the license for “data processing”.

The cost of the service is about thirteen thousand euro. For the renewal of a license, it will be necessary to pay about nine thousand euro more. Time for consideration of the application can vary from one to four months.


Online gambling has been considered a legal activity in Curacao since 2002. This jurisdiction requires from applicants to register their future companies within the territory of the country. The procedure for consideration of the application begins only after the official registration of the legal entity. As a rule, the license is issued in six weeks after the application is submitted.

An approximate price is about fifty thousand dollars. This amount of money includes a basic set of services: registration procedure, preparation of documents, hiring a local director of the company, opening a banking account, and much more.

Antigua and Barbuda

The casino licensing department in this country was established in 1994. To date, applicants have been offered two types of licenses: a permit for operators that allow them to run an online casino and the legalisation of bookmaker’s offices were fans of excitement can place bets on sports events.

The registration of any of the documents is accompanied by a non-refundable fee of about fifteen thousand dollars. It is also necessary to pay an annual fee from seventy-five thousand to one hundred thousand dollars (it should be paid before the license is received).


The Alderney island is subject to the UK law and requires full access to the internal systems of the applicant's gaming site (full audit of payment systems, the software, and the general business strategy of the gambling establishment).

One of the founders of the casino must be a resident of the country. An interesting feature is that the jurisdiction issues a separate document for each type of gambling activities.

The approximate cost of the service is seventy thousand pounds.


An Indian reservation in the United States has successfully registered more than fifty gambling companies. It issues four types of documents:

  • a permit for hosting;
  • the registration of a legal entity;
  • business with a license from a third-party commission;
  • the management system of the gambling platform.

The price depends on a set of basic services and can vary from five thousand to twenty-five thousand dollars, plus an annual renewal that costs ten thousand dollars.

Isle Of Man

The British offshore zone allows you to purchase a permit that will allow you to conduct any type of gambling activities in the form of a single document. The future enterprise must be registered on the territory of the jurisdiction, and one of the directors must be a resident of the country.

In addition to the established fee for filing an application, receiving, and renewal of documents, the offshore zone has the following taxation system:

  • 0.1% for an establishment with an annual income of forty million pounds;
  • 0.5% for companies with annual revenues from twenty to forty million pounds;
  • 1.5% for gaming sites, which bring less than twenty million pounds per year.

For pari-mutuel betting and betting shops, there is a fixed rate of interest — 15% of the annual revenue.

How to Get a Gaming License on Your Own and Your Possible Alternatives

The gambling business requires a special approach and the availability of specific knowledge in various fields (from web design and programming to jurisprudence and accounting). If we are talking about the development of the service on your own, we can say that future entrepreneurs will have to resolve a number of issues:

  • development of a business strategy;
  • acquisition of legal status;
  • submission of an application and an additional package of documents that is necessary for casino licensing;
  • creation of a website;
  • purchase of the software components (content, payment processors, software for mobile platforms, etc.);
  • customisation of technical support services;
  • an organisation of marketing campaigns.

To implement this option, you will have to spend a lot of time and make significant financial investments. Only for the registration of licensing documents, you will have to pay from ten thousand to fifty thousand dollars, and the advertising of the finished product will cost about half of the future income of a gambling establishment.

Those operators who have a limited initial capital have the following alternatives:

A White Label casino

A partnership approach that is built on the principle of “white label” allows you to get a ready-made product with minimal costs. In fact, this is a form of cooperation with the parent company, which is responsible for the level of services and technical and legal support for the business for a certain percentage of the future revenue.

Applicants do not need to be personally engaged in the collection and preparation of documentation, to spend enormous sums of money on the paperwork — all the necessary conditions for the work are provided by the parent company.

The disadvantage of this scheme is the dependence on a supplier. Operators do not have the right to independently adjust the content or choose a personal strategy for business management.

A turnkey casino

It is the most popular and reliable way to enter the gambling market. It is enough for you to choose the intermediary company and delegate the resolution of all questions to experienced professionals. To begin with, you will need only sketches of the future project — the staff of a third-party enterprise will deal with the rest.

The turnkey solution has a number of advantages:

  • high-quality design of the website according to the wishes of clients;
  • optimal content;
  • well-thought-out control and management of all processes that take place on the website;
  • availability of a full set of software for the provision of operability of the resource;
  • agile technical support;
  • ability to connect the best affiliate programs;
  • full legal support (registration of legal status, the collection of documents, filing an application, and so on);
  • promotion of your own brand.

By turning to professionals, you get not only a ready-made project with the possibility of entering the international arena but also a guarantee that your gaming site will pay off within four or six months after its launch.

How to Get a Gaming License with Smart Money

We are ready to offer you a full range of tools for any gambling projects. Constant update of the range of products allows you to choose the best ready-made solutions from the world’s leading suppliers. We have gaming platforms, affiliate programs, stock exchange terminals, payment systems, and the equipment for the organisation of land-based gambling establishments.

We work with the largest manufacturers and are ready to offer you the content from such famous providers as Playtech, Novomatic, Amatic, Microgaming, and NetEnt.

You can also use such a service as the development of turnkey online platforms. Experts from Smart Money are ready to implement a project of any level of complexity.

For more information, please contact us:

  • by e-mail:;
  • in Skype:;
  • via the feedback form.

Hans Adrian

B2b Gambling Business Advisor & Strategist


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